UN court or­ders US to lift some Iran sanc­tions

The Myanmar Times - Weekend - - World -

THE United Na­tions’ high­est court on Wed­nes­day or­dered the United States to lift sanc­tions on Iran that af­fect im­ports of hu­man­i­tar­ian goods and prod­ucts and ser­vices linked to civil avi­a­tion safety.

The rul­ing by the In­ter­na­tional Court of Jus­tice is legally bind­ing, but the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion said the U.S. was ter­mi­nat­ing a decades­old treaty that Iran used as the ba­sis for its case.

US Sec­re­tary of State Mike Pom­peo said with­draw­ing from the 1955 Treaty of Amity was long over­due and fol­lowed Iran “ground­lessly” bring­ing the com­plaint to the U.N. court.

Pom­peo said the ad­min­is­tra­tion would pro­ceed with sanc­tions en­force­ment with ex­ist­ing ex­cep­tions for hu­man­i­tar­ian and flight safety trans­ac­tions.

“The United States has been ac­tively en­gaged on these is­sues with­out re­gard to any pro­ceed­ing be­fore the ICJ,” he said.

Mean­while, US na­tional se­cu­rity ad­viser John Bolton said the ad­min­is­tra­tion also was pulling out of an amend­ment to the Vi­enna Con­ven­tion on Diplo­matic Re­la­tions that Iran or oth­ers, no­tably the Pales­tini­ans, could use to sue the US at The Hague-based tri­bunal.

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump moved to re­store tough US sanc­tions against Iran in May af­ter with­draw­ing from Tehran’s nu­clear ac­cord with world pow­ers. Iran chal­lenged the sanc­tions in a case filed in July at the In­ter­na­tional Court of Jus­tice.

In a pre­lim­i­nary rul­ing, the court said that Wash­ing­ton must “re­move, by means of its choos­ing, any im­ped­i­ments aris­ing from” the re-im­po­si­tion of sanc­tions to the ex­port to Iran of medicine and med­i­cal de­vices, food and agri­cul­tural com­modi­ties and spare parts and equip­ment nec­es­sary to en­sure the safety of civil avi­a­tion.

By lim­it­ing the order to sanc­tions cov­er­ing hu­man­i­tar­ian goods and the civil avi­a­tion in­dus­try, the rul­ing did not go as far as Iran had re­quested.

The US am­bas­sador to the Nether­lands, Peter Hoek­stra, pointed that out in a tweet.

“This is a mer­it­less case over which the court has no ju­ris­dic­tion,” the am­bas­sador tweeted. “Even so, it is worth not­ing that the Court de­clined to­day to grant the sweep­ing mea­sures re­quested by Iran. In­stead, the Court is­sued a nar­row de­ci­sion on a very lim­ited range of sec­tors.”

While im­pos­ing the so-called pro­vi­sional mea­sures, the court’s pres­i­dent, Ab­dulqawi Ahmed Yusuf, stressed that the case will con­tinue and the United States could still chal­lenge the court’s ju­ris­dic­tion. Ira­nian For­eign Min­is­ter Mo­ham­mad Javad Zarif praised the court rul­ing on Twit­ter, call­ing it “an­other fail­ure for sanc­tions-ad­dicted” U.S. and a “vic­tory for rule of law.” He added that it is im­per­a­tive for the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity “to col­lec­tively counter ma­lign US uni­lat­er­al­ism.”

Photo: AP

Judges en­ter the In­ter­na­tional Court of Jus­tice, or World Court, in The Hague, Nether­lands on Wed­nes­day where they ruled on an Ira­nian re­quest to order Wash­ing­ton to sus­pend US sanc­tions against Tehran.

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